Which Delaware laws and regulations cover bullying?
- Delaware Code Annotated Title 14, §402. Definitions
- Delaware Code Annotated Title 14, §407. Duration of enrollment in receiving district
- Delaware Code Annotated Title 14, §506. Restrictions
- Delaware Code Annotated Title 14, §4112A. Office of School Criminal Offense and Bullying Ombudsperson
- Delaware Code Annotated Title 14, §4112B. Ombudsperson access
- Delaware Code Annotated Title 14, §4112C. Good faith immunity
- Delaware Code Annotated Title 14, § 4161. Definitions
- Delaware Code Annotated Title 14, § 4162. Child safety awareness, prevention, and other non-academic trainings
- Delaware Code Annotated Title 14, § 4164. School bullying awareness and prevention; criminal youth gang detection
- Delaware Code Annotated Title 14, §9301. Short title
- Delaware Code Annotated Title 14, §9302. Definitions
- Delaware Code Annotated Title 14, §9303. Hazing prohibited
- Delaware Code Annotated Title 14, §9304. Enforcement by institution
- 14 DE Admin. Code §103. Accountability for schools, districts, and the state
- 14 DE Admin. Code §624. School district/charter school policy prohibiting cyberbullying
- 14 DE Admin. Code §1007 DIAA Sportsmanship
- 14 DE Admin. Code §1150 School transportation
How are bullying and cyberbullying defined in Delaware anti-bullying laws and regulations?
Delaware anti-bullying laws and regulations include the following definitions of bullying and cyber bullying:
“Bullying” means any intentional written, electronic, verbal, or physical act against another student, a school district or charter school volunteer, or a school district or charter school employee that a reasonable person under the circumstances should know will have any of the following effects:
a. Place a student, school district or charter school volunteer, or school district or charter school employee in reasonable fear of substantial harm to the student's, volunteer's, or employee's emotional or physical well-being or substantial damages to the student's, volunteer's, or employee's property.
b. Create a hostile, threatening, humiliating, or abusive educational environment due to the pervasiveness or persistence of actions or due to a power differential between the bully and the target.
c. Interfere with a student having a safe school environment that is necessary to facilitate educational performance, opportunities, or benefits.
d. Perpetuate bullying by inciting, soliciting, or coercing an individual or group to demean, dehumanize, embarrass, or cause emotional, psychological, or physical harm to another student, school district or charter school volunteer, or school district or charter school employee.
“Cyberbullying” means the use of uninvited and unwelcome electronic communication directed at an identifiable student or group of students, through means other than face-to-face interaction, which (1) interferes with a student's physical well-being; or (2) is threatening or intimidating; or (3) is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it is reasonably likely to limit a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the educational programs of the school district or charter school. Communication shall be considered to be directed at an identifiable student or group of students if it is sent directly to that student or group, or posted in a medium that the speaker knows is likely to be available to a broad audience within the school community.
14 Del. C. § 4161 (2017)
Do Delaware anti-bullying laws and regulations cover cyberbullying that occurs off-campus?
Yes. Delaware anti-bullying laws cover off-campus conduct and state that the place of origin of speech otherwise constituting cyberbullying is not material to whether it is considered cyberbullying, nor is the use of school district or charter school materials.
What are the policy requirements for schools to prevent and respond to bullying behavior?
Delaware school districts are required to establish a policy prohibiting bullying and reprisal, retaliation or false accusation against a target or witness. School district policies must contain key policy and procedural elements, including, but not limited to:
- Statements prohibiting bullying and statements of scope indicating where and when the policy applies;
- Definitions of bullying no less inclusive than the definitions in state law;
- Direction to develop a school-wide bullying prevention program;
- Requirements to establish a site-based committee responsible for coordinating the school bullying prevention program;
- Procedures for reporting and investigations, including a procedure for anonymous reporting;
- Requirements to develop a plan for a system of supervision in non-classroom areas;
- Statements of disciplinary consequences for violation of the policy;
- Requirements for the parent of a target of perpetrator of bullying to be notified when a report is made;
- Statements prohibiting retaliation following a report of bullying;
- Procedures for communication between school staff and medical professionals who are involved in treating students for bullying issues;
- Requirements that school bullying prevention programs must be implemented throughout the year and must be integrated with the school’s discipline policies; and
- Requirements for how the policy must be publicized within the district.
Delaware anti-bullying laws require districts to submit a copy of the district bullying policy to the Department of education annually. The Department of Education must review the policy for compliance with state and federal law. District funding is contingent upon state approval of the district’s school bullying prevention policy.
Do Delaware anti-bullying laws and regulations include protections for specific groups?
No. There are no specific groups listed under Delaware anti-bullying laws or regulations; however, investigation procedures must include a determination of whether the target of the bullying was targeted, or reports being targeted, wholly or in part due to the target's race, age, marital status, creed, religion, color, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or national origin. The subsection does not preclude schools from identifying other reasons or criteria why a person is a target of bullying.
Delaware schools that receive federal funding are required by federal law to address discrimination on a number of different personal characteristics. Find out when bullying may be a civil rights violation.
Do Delaware anti-bullying laws and regulations encourage or require districts to implement bullying prevention programs or strategies?
Yes. Delaware school districts are required to establish a policy that includes direction to develop a school-wide bullying prevention program.
Do Delaware anti-bullying laws and regulations encourage or require districts to train teachers and other school staff on how to respond to bullying incidents?
Yes. Delaware anti-bullying laws require the Department of Education and Department of Justice to identify and maintain a school bullying prevention training program for school district employees. School districts must provide three hours of bullying prevention training to school employees every three years.
Do Delaware anti-bullying laws and regulations encourage or require districts to provide safeguards or mental health supports for students involved with bullying?
Yes. Delaware school districts policies must include a procedure for communication between school staff members and medical professionals who are involved in treating students for bullying issues.
Do Delaware anti-bullying laws and regulations involve parents in efforts to address bullying behavior?
Yes. Delaware schools are required to establish site-based committees responsible for coordinating the design, approval, and monitoring of each school’s bullying prevention program. Site-based committees must include parent representatives.
Delaware school district policies must also include requirements that schools notify parents of all students involved in reported bullying incidents when a report is made.
For More Information
The key component framework used in the analysis of state laws is based on the review of legislation presented in the “Analysis of State Bullying Laws and Policies – December 2011” (U.S. Department of Education).
Content last updated on June 21, 2017